Jul. 12, 2019


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News You Can Use

 The latest news from the State Capitol

Join Me for My Senior Expo on July 26!

Residents of the 117th Legislative District are invited to attend my free Senior Expo, which will be held on Friday, July 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tunkhannock Area High School, located at 135 Tiger St., Tunkhannock. This year’s expo will feature several informational seminars, including Aging in Place: Growing Old at Home; Scams: What You Need to Know; and Grants and Resources: Get Medicine at a Lower Cost. These seminars will begin at 10:30 a.m. Exhibitors from area health care organizations, veterans service groups and other state and local agencies and organizations will be on site to provide seniors the opportunity to learn more about services and activities available to them. Health-related screenings will also be offered. A prescription drug drop box, provided by the Wyoming County District Attorney’s Office, will be on site. Click here for more information or contact my district offices at 570-836-4777 or 570-675-6000.

Pictured: Standing (left to right) is Todd Bosscher, principal, Tunkhannock High School; and Kenny Janiszewski, athletic director, Tunkhannock High School. Seated (left to right) is Doris Magee, Area Agency of Aging; me; and Emily Titus, Area Agency on Aging.
Fiscal Responsibility Leads to Healthy Deposit in State’s Rainy Day Fund

A strong economy, combined with House efforts to stand up for taxpayers, has resulted in a healthy investment of nearly $317 million in the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The fund essentially serves as the Commonwealth’s savings account, available to help weather the next economic downturn without further burdening hard-working taxpayers. Last year marked the first deposit in the Rainy Day Fund in more than a decade. It totaled just $22 million. This year, lawmakers agreed during budget negotiations to deposit the full amount of the General Fund balance at the close of the 2018-19 fiscal year into the fund.
New Law to Save Taxpayers Money

Working to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, the General Assembly passed a new law that will enable the Commonwealth to pay off state debt more quickly and save on interest costs. Act 43 of 2019 will change the way state bonds are issued to accelerate the retirement of Pennsylvania’s General Obligation debt, reduce the amount of interest paid over the life of state-issued bonds, and help the Commonwealth improve its bond rating. The law requires the principal for new issuances of state debt to be repaid in equal amounts over the term of the bond – usually 20 years – rather than front loading interest payments with lower principal payments that grow as the bonds mature.
In the District

On Wednesday, I participated in the Back Mountain Chamber legislative breakfast. I am pictured with Sen. Lisa Baker, Rep. Aaron Kaufer and Chris Thomas from the Office of Congressman Dan Meuser. Second row: Back Mountain Chamber President Cynthia Post-Mitchell and Back Mountain Chamber Executive Director Bill Leandri.

It was a pleasure to see so many familiar faces from our community at the annual Back Mountain Memorial Library Auction. I always enjoy being a guest auctioneer (first photo, pictured with board member Andrea Mosca). A group of very talented young ladies opened the festivities by singing our National Anthem (second photo). Thanks to auction co-chairs Bill and Pat Peifer (pictured in red shirts in third photo) for another wonderful event. Carol Sweeney surprised the crowds in a vintage outfit. She is also a guest auctioneer. The auction continues through Sunday and all proceeds benefit the library. Hope to see you there over the weekend!
Bringing State Government to You

On Tuesday, July 16, a member of my staff will be holding satellite office hours at the Benton Township Community Center, located at 16043 Route 407, Fleetville, from 9-11 a.m.

On Wednesday, July 17, a representative from the Center for Independent Living will be available at the Tunkhannock district office. Please call 570-836-4777 to schedule an appointment.
Enhanced Boating Under the Influence Enforcement Throughout Summer

Throughout the summer, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) waterways conservation officers (WCO) will be focusing on keeping boaters safe by keeping impaired boaters off the water. In partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the PFBC is working to increase boater awareness of the hazards associated with impaired boating, and to decrease the number of accidents and deaths attributed to impaired boating and other unsafe boating practices. In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to operate any watercraft, powered or unpowered, while impaired. The blood alcohol limit for boat operators is .08%, and WCOs are trained to recognize signs of impairment and conduct sobriety tests on the water. Penalties for BUI include fines, loss of boating privileges and imprisonment.

Tips for staying safe on the water this summer include:
  • Boat sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. Alcohol and drug use can impair a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.
  • Wear your life jacket - 85% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Take a boating safety education course - 71% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction, where instruction was known.
Calling on the FCC to Protect Your Phone from Spoofers

Calls from telemarketers have long been an issue, but the situation becomes dangerous when scammers “spoof” calls. That’s when a call shows a different name or phone number than is actually associated with the caller. All too often it can result in recipients being tricked into sharing their personal information and scammed out of their hard-earned money. Spoofing needs to be swiftly and aggressively addressed. Despite being illegal, these unwanted robocalls that appear to originate from local, often legitimate, numbers in order to deceive consumers are on the rise. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously supported a resolution urging Congress to grant additional authority to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop unwanted robocalls and spoofing, as well as to educate the public on how to report illegal calls. Spam calls are the most frequent complaint received by the FCC, and it’s time to do something about it. While we implore the FCC to stop the harassment of Pennsylvanians through their own devices, residents can take action to limit another form of harassment – unwanted calls from telemarketers. There are two Do Not Call Lists available: The National Do Not Call List and the Pennsylvania Do Not Call List. Register your cell phone and landline numbers with the state list by calling 888-777-3406 and the national list by calling 888-382-1222. Both phone numbers are toll free.
CANCELED: Spotted Lanternfly Seminar

Due to insufficient pre-registration, the Spotted Lanternfly Seminar scheduled for Wednesday, July 17, has been canceled. Declared a “public nuisance” by the Department of Agriculture, the spotted lanternfly poses a serious threat to Pennsylvania agriculture and the economy. The insect feeds on and can destroy more than 70 varieties of plants, including hardwood trees, grapes, apples, peaches and hops. Local officials are bracing for impact, should that status change. For additional information on the species, click here.
Staying Safe in Summer Heat and Humidity

With temperatures predicted to rise into the 90s again next week, the state Department of Health is offering several tips to help stay cool and safe. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting and light-colored clothing; limit outdoor activities to early morning or evening hours when temperatures are usually cooler; and pace yourself if you do need to be outdoors. When possible, stay indoors in air conditioning on hot days. Staying hydrated is important, and health experts recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day, not waiting until you feel thirsty. Avoid consuming caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary beverages, and replace salt lost from perspiration by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks. Extreme heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths in the United States each year. Infants and young children, people age 65 and older, those with chronic medical conditions and those who must work outdoors are especially at risk for developing a heat-related illness. Learn more here.

Our District

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Office Locations
105 Lieutenant Michael Cleary Drive, Dallas, PA 18612 | (570) 675-6000, (800) 278-3930
133 West Tioga Street, Suite 4, Tunkhannock, PA 18657| Phone: (570) 836-4777
41-B East Wing, Main Capitol, PO Box 202117, Harrisburg PA 17120-2117 | Phone: (717) 787-1117
Email: kboback@pahousegop.com